Friday, January 8, 2010

Kimchi Chamchi Jigae: Korean Kimchi and Tuna Soup

I'm so excited to share this very authentic Korean soup recipe with you today. Growing up, my mom always made this soup and I loved it! (Check out another Korean soup recipe.) The aroma of kimchi and the spice definitely boosts your appetite. I love the soup because it's got all kinds of goodness in it. For example, canned tuna. I've only used Korean canned chunky tuna in this soup. Korean canned tuna has less oil in it and the tuna tastes so much better. Sorry but it is true. But if you can't find Korean tuna, that is fine. You can probably go ahead and use the one that you can find in your grocery stores.

I used homemade Kimchi for this soup. I am so sorry that I still haven't posted my kimchi recipe. It's not that it's a secret recipe or anything like that. I'm just trying to perfect the recipe so you can use it when you want to make it yourself. I don't want you to be disappointed, you know. But everyone likes their kimchi different anyway. I guess you make it the way you like it. That's the beauty of making kimchi. You add less or more of everything according to your appetite. But as soon as I have the recipe that I "love", I will post it on here.

So this homemade Kimchi wasn't bad. I thought it was too salty but my hubby really loved it and said that was the perfect recipe. I disagree with him. It was way too salty for me. But who knew this salty kimchi would make such great soup! In soup, the kimchi was "perfect". If you want to make this soup but don't have kimchi at home, the store-bought ones aren't too awful. And interestingly, any kimchi is pretty good in soup. :)

This soup goes great with rice and any vegetable side dishes. Enjoy!

Kimchi Chamchi Jigae (김치 참치찌개)

Printable Recipe


1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 cup kimchi with kimchi water (Spicy kimchi works great!)
1 can Korean chunky tuna
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
1 firm tofu, sliced
1-2 teaspoons Korean red pepper flakes (according to your liking)
pinch of salt


In a clay pot or a medium sized pot, add sesame oil and heat over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the kimchi with kimchi water, canned tuna, and garlic and stir for about 3-5 minutes, or until the kimchi starts to soften.

When the kimchi starts to soften, add the water and bring it to boil. When the water starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium or medium high and add the fish sauce, tofu, and the red pepper flakes. Cover and continue to cook for another 3 minutes.

Remove from the heat. If you're using a clay pot, the water will continue to boil even after it has been removed from the heat for several minutes. Keeping it covered will keep the soup hot for longer. Enjoy!

Sook the Cook


  1. Yeah...kimchi soup from this! I need to go and buy tofu. There's still kimchi in my fridge.

  2. I love this! A must order at koran restaurants. So good with rice.

  3. Sook, no doubt at all, you're a pro in this kimchi recipe. Hopefully, you'll post it soon. I've tried making my own kimchi a couple of months ago. It turned out well but too bad none of my family members like kimchi. =(
    p/s Is it the kimchi must be spicy? But I really wish to make it sweet & spicy!

  4. That is so hearty, great for the cold weather you are having over there now )

  5. Love kimchi! What a great one dish meal!

  6. I've only had kimchee from a local restaurant. Your soup here looks amazing!

  7. Sook, your kimchi soup looks so appetisingly spicy red! Just the way I like it!

  8. Sounds really tasty! I hope to learn more about Korean cooking, I don't know too much about it.

  9. Kimchi is one of my favorite things! I've been known to eat it for breakfast. Is that weird? As soon as you post your recipe I am going to try to make it myself.
    Your soup sounds brilliant!

  10. Sook, your kimchi soup looks sooooooooo right for this snowy weekend!

  11. Wow this soup sure looks spicy. Will adding in some noodles will be good?

  12. Awesome soup..Perfect for the weather..Now I could start learning Korean dishes from you..Thanks Sook :-)

  13. This is the kind of kimchi jigae I eat. When I lived in Chuncheon, This is the kind they served in a restaurant near Gangwon National University. I've never eat it with pork.

    I love making it at home, but I use the white albacore tuna packed in water. The Korean tuna is usually the red tuna, which smells more.

  14. @ G.F Gidget,
    I used to eat kimchi, rice, soup, and all kinds of side dishes for breakfast growing up. So no, it's not weird at all. I encourage it. :)

    @ Cheah,
    I've never tried adding noodles into Kimchi soup before, but why not? If you try it, let me know how it is.

    @ Tamar,
    Good tip for those who can't find Korean tuna around. I just like the taste of Korean tuna better but I'm sure white albacore tuna works great, too. Thanks.

  15. This soup is one of the things I like to have when I am feeling under the weather. Yours looks good!

  16. Thanx for visiting my blog....Soup looks colorful,now i can try some korean dishes fro ur blog...Thanx...

  17. Hi Sook! Thank you for stopping by and commenting on my blog.

    I have never tasted this soup, but I want to now. I know I would love it, I like all of the ingredients ~ how could it not be utterly delicious and comforting. I wish I had a bowl of it right now on this gray and rainy day.

    Your blog is beautiful! I'm your newest follower. :) xo

  18. wow this soup looks like it is so full of flavor - I would love to try some.

  19. @Christine,
    I always crave some spicy Korean food, especially soup or porridge when I'm sick. The spiciness of this soup makes me feel all better. :)

    Thank you also for visiting my blog!

    It's rainy here too and I am craving this soup too. :)

    The soup has a lot of wonderful flavors. I hope you get to try it someday. Thanks for your lovely comment. :)

  20. I am looking forward to your kimchee recipe, I want to make and use this exciting food!

  21. Love your pictures, being a vegetarian I can also sit back and virtually enjoy your pictures :-)

  22. What a wonderful soup! I am really looking forward to your kimchi! My Mom loves it and we have always wanted to try making it ourselves.

  23. Great looking soup! Kimchi jigae would be perfect on a cold day like today.

  24. I like kimchi, had them couple of times at my friends place...but had absolutely no its made. This is very interesting:)

  25. we love korean soups, especially ones with kimchi and tofu..this looks great!

  26. I just had this at y friends house, and it was delicious